My Plan towards Becoming a Data Analyst
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Note: This post was updated on August 31, 2021, the only change was updating my specific plan, I deleted becoming certified with a specific tool like Tableau or Power Bi and instead want to focus my time on building projects.
I've never had a clear picture for a career. In high school I thought maybe I'd become a mathematician. In college I majored in Secondary Education and wanted to become a math teacher but that didn't work out. After I graduated I had a few jobs but they weren't what I wanted to do for my career. This feeling of not knowing what I want to do seems common.
Around October of last year I was looking at certificate programs and noticed Google used to have a few but they were not available anymore since they were working on a few new ones. I signed up to receive an email when this new course would come out.
Fast forward to March of this year I got an email about the new Google Professional Certificate Programs. I browsed through a few of them and decided to take the Google Data Analytics Course. Honestly, I didn't know what a data analyst was until I began this course. But after working on it for the past 3 months I've come to enjoy data analytics, it is a blend between math, design with data visualization, and soft skills like presenting and communication. It is not solely focused on one or the other.
I am switching careers from being a legal assistant to becoming a data analyst. The challenge for me is I don't have any professional experience with data analytics.
I've also started watching Youtube videos on how to become a data analyst, especially with no formal education or experience. I specifically watch Alex the Analyst whose videos I've found to be extremely helpful for someone interested in become a data analyst. In his video, Data Analyst Skills Path | What Skills You NEED to Know, he explains the technical skills he thinks every entry level data analyst needs to have:
Microsoft Excel; and
He also includes more specific areas to focus on within those skills.
My current plan is to finish up with the Google Data Analytics Course so I can get a clear picture of what I need to study more of. I also signed up for a few Udemy classes that go over SQL, Tableau, and Microsoft Power BI to name a few. And I will start working on specific projects to post on LinkedIn (my profile) and my portfolio. One of my goals by the time I apply for an entry level data analyst job (roughly beginning of 2023) is to have 5 completed projects.
I have been networking with other data analysts in the area, to understand their career path and how they got into the data analytics field. And see if they can offer me any advice and possible job opportunities in the future.
Below is my tentative plan:
Finish the Google Data Analytics Project so I can understand my weak points.
Work on Udemy classes to strength my skills in SQL and Tableau specifically.
Add projects to my portfolio.
I will be documenting my journey towards switching careers to become a data analyst and explain what I've been working on. Including a review of the Google Data Analytics Course once I'm finished.
See you next week!